An example of HOW the FFO can help

While everyone’s story is different, our approach to listening is consistent. In this section, we lay out some real-world examples of how our clients heard about us, started the conversation and then made the decision to hire us as a strategic partner. Bob and Betty Fakename got our information from their estate attorney. A big part of their estate planning process involved gathering all the details that made up their personal balance sheet. The attorney noticed that Bob & Betty had multiple bank relationships across several states. He also noticed that over $700,000 dollars was sitting in checking or savings accounts with no real growth prospects. Bob and Betty explained their large cash holdings to the lawyer in simple terms:

“We’ve never had this amount of money before and don’t quite know where to start. Our retirement accounts hold most of our investments and we haven’t had to think about how to invest since our choices are limited to 10 different mutual funds or target date funds. Now that we have this inheritance money along with a big chunk of money from selling our old home, we are a little paralyzed about what to do.”

The estate attorney provided our contact information and Bob & Betty filed it away for several years. In the meantime, they noticed that their bank teller’s eyes lit up each time they visited their local bank branch. The teller’s consistent, scripted speech to them sounded something like this:

“It looks like you have a lot of money that isn’t really earning any interest. Can I introduce you to our wealth management group at our “Big Bank?”

Bob & Betty eventually decided to interview us in addition to Big Bank’s wealth management group. We met with them in our Denver Tech Center location a few days after they met with the bank’s advisors. They came prepared with a few short fact sheets (aka – summary prospectus) for indexed annuities and municipal bond funds sporting the same logo as Big Bank. The meeting with the bank’s advisors lasted just under an hour and a significant portion of the conversation revolved around how the different annuities and municipal bond funds functioned. It also sounded like they would collect some sort of fee to invest Bob & Betty’s money. However, the appointment ran short on time and they never really talked about anything other than those two types of investment vehicles.

By the time we met Bob & Betty in our conference room, they were carrying a stack of papers comprised of tax returns, account statements and a big binder holding their estate plan. Our conversation was a little slower and more focused on why they were interviewing advisors in the first place. We learned about their extensive education and rewarding career before entering retirement.

We also asked questions to find out why they wouldn’t just move forward using their status quo since their retirement expenses were well-beneath their pension and Social Security income. When packaged like this, some interesting answers arose.

“We don’t think it’s responsible to keep that much money sitting in a bank account earning nothing … we don’t like how little we can make in this low-interest rate environment for CDs … investing is NOT a hobby for either of us—it’s not how we want to spend our time … We want to bless our grandchildren and be intentional in how we pass along our wealth … we don’t know what we don’t know—that’s why we’re talking to you.”

Our approach to the remainder of that meeting shifted towards education. We made it clear that Bob & Betty were in no imminent “financial danger” that required a quick decision. We shifted to a discussion of the different types of financial advice and business models in the world today. We provided them with a clear explanation of how different advisors make their money. They also learned about the disparity between fiduciary obligations and the less-robust “best interest” contracts of traditional wirehouse advisors.

To be honest, the meeting ran a little long since the discussion was so broad and clarifying. We thought it best to wrap up the meeting so they could go home and discuss what they’d learned from their two different interviews with advisors. Several days later, we followed up by e-mail to recommend an up-front, fee-based, no-obligation financial consultation. They then called Wade to ask some final questions and gain a better understanding of what the next steps would be. The promised outcome of that consultation was an in-depth comparison of three different “go-forward” investment strategies. The first strategy was evaluating how their current holdings were likely to grow or shrink over the next 25 years of retirement. The next strategy was how their next 25 retirement years could look by following the “Big Bank” advisor’s preliminary recommendation. The last strategy involved our approach to investing their money without using an annuity unless there was a set need for certain guarantees. We made it clear there was no obligation to hire us after we showed the potential outcomes. Up front, Wade made it clear that all three of the options were acceptable and likely to sustain a long and uncertain retirement duration. Ultimately, the capabilities and investment ingredients weren’t all that different between our firm and Big Bank’s wealth management group. We reminded Bob & Betty about our pace and overall philosophy of financial planning. We reiterated that we provide easy, consistent access to the same handful of CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNERSTM at our local offices.

Content in this material is for general information only and not intended to provide specific advice or recommendations for any individual. No strategy assures success or protects against loss. Investing involves risk including loss of principal. Any guarantee is based on the paying ability of the issuer.

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The content is developed from sources believed to provide accurate information. The information in this material is not intended as tax or legal advice. Please consult legal or tax professionals for specific information regarding your individual situation. The opinions expressed and material provided are for general information, and should not be considered a solicitation for the purchase or sale of any security.

Securities offered through LPL Financial, Member FINRA & SIPC. Investment advice offered through Western Wealth Management, a registered investment advisor. Western Wealth Management and Fortunate Family Office are separate entities from LPL Financial.

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Licensed to sell insurance in the following States: CO

FINRA Series 7 for Wade Olson held with LPL Financial. Series 66 for Wade Olson held with Western Wealth Management, LLC.